It wasn’t quite as last-minute as their deal with Miguel Montero this morning, but the Diamondbacks have also avoided arbitration with Ryan Roberts by signing him to a one-year, $2 million contract.
Roberts requested $2.275 million and Arizona countered at $1.65 million, so they settled slightly above the midpoint.
Roberts didn’t get an extended opportunity in the majors until age 28, when the Diamondbacks signed him after he was let go by both the Blue Jays and Rangers, so that represents a pretty nice payday in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
He’s hit .256 with a .342 on-base percentage and .427 slugging percentage in 289 games for Arizona and will be the Opening Day third baseman after Melvin Mora got that nod last year.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.